Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)

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You’ll also love my easy slow cooker cinnamon rolls.

Easiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made, only 1 rise. Perfect for yeast beginners!

This is a recipe for classic, home-style cinnamon rolls. Fluffy, soft, doughy, and bursting with buttery cinnamon swirls. It’s taken me some time to make the perfect dough from scratch and today, I have the winner for you. I baked two batches just to be sure. 😉

My cinnamon rolls are easier than any sweet roll I’ve ever made before. And they are quicker too. Perfect for the baker who wants to learn how to bake with yeast for the first time. You’ll find that the typical sweet roll or homemade bread recipe requires two rises. The incredible Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls (which many of you LOVE!) require a first rise of about 1-2 hours. Then a second rise for another two hours. Making them is completely worth the wait time, but I wanted something a little quicker. Today’s rolls only require 1 rise.

My BEST ever Cinnamon Rolls - totally from scratch, great beginner recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I use Red Star Platinum Yeast to bake my quick cinnamon rolls. I’m an avid Red Star yeast fan and have been ever since I faced my fears of yeast 6 months ago. Red Star Platinum takes the work out of it for you.  Its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes working with yeast simple. And simple is always good, right?

The dough for today’s roll is very easy to throw together. It’s a perfect starting point for any sort of sweet roll you want to make. And it makes a conveniently sized small batch. Only about 11 rolls and they are baked in a small 9-inch round pan. The recipe can easily be doubled and baked in two 9-inch pans.

My BEST ever Cinnamon Rolls - totally from scratch, great beginner recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The dough ingredients are pretty standard: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, butter, and 1 egg. Heat the butter, milk, and water all together in a bowl until the butter is melted and mixture is hot to touch (mine was 115F degrees). Accurate temperatures are crucial to successful baking. Next you’re going to stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. Add about 1/3 cup more flour to get the dough nice and soft. Your dough is ready to knead when it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Next? Kneading time! Lightly flour your countertop and get ready to get your hands dirty. It’s ok, baking is supposed to be messy. Want to learn more about the process of kneading? I study this helpful guide often. When you’re finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest for about 10 minutes. It won’t really rise in this step, it just needs a chance to let the gluten settle. During this time, I got my filling ingredients ready: softened butter, cinnamon, and sugar. My three favorite ingredients these days.

After 10 minutes, roll the dough out into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Use a ruler to be accurate; I always keep one handy in a kitchen drawer. Spread the softened butter all over the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 11 even pieces. Place in a greased round pan and get ready to rise. The rolls take about 60-90 minutes to rise. Remember, this is the only rise time for the rolls. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and place in a draft-free warm spot in your kitchen.

Here’s what I do: I heat the oven to 200°F.  I turn off the oven. I place the rolls inside for 90 minutes. There, that’s it! Make sure you don’t refrigerate the rolls after this step. Keep them at room temperature if you are not baking right away.

My BEST ever Cinnamon Roll recipe - these fluffy, gooey cinnamon rolls are made from scratch and are a great recipe for beginners!

After about 60-90 minutes, the rolls will have doubled in size and are ready to bake.

They look like fluffy little spiraled pillows. All nice & toasty!

My BEST ever Cinnamon Roll recipe - these fluffy, gooey cinnamon rolls are made from scratch and are a great recipe for beginners!

They are ready for some glaze! I made an easy coffee glaze for my rolls. I simply mixed 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 Tablespoons of strong coffee. If coffee glaze isn’t your thing, replace the coffee with milk or cream.

And completely drench the rolls with the glaze right before serving.

My BEST ever Cinnamon Rolls - totally from scratch, great beginner recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I truly thought I had self control until I made these. I tested this recipe twice last weekend after I made breakfast. I was saving them for later in the day, but I just had to dig in. Trust me, your self-control will disappear after you make these. They are completely irresistible. Just wait until you smell them baking! I want to bottle that scent and wear it forever.

The dough is buttery and sweet, which I loved. If you’re looking for that perfect cinnamon roll recipe, you are in luck. Not only are these the fluffiest, softest roll I’ve ever made, but they are the easiest as well.

Fill the rolls with nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, or even coconut. Besides the classic cinnamon filling, I personally love cherries or caramel + apples. The sky is the limit with this recipe!

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Easiest cinnamon rolls I've ever made, only 1 rise. Perfect for yeast beginners!

Ingredients:

Rolls

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Coffee Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong coffee (or use milk/cream instead)

Directions:

  1. Make the dough: Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss the 2 and 1/4 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. About 115°F (46°C). Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. I only needed 1/3 cup, but you may need the full 1/2 cup. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used non-stick spray) and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Make the filling: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14x8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Add more cinnamon/sugar if desired. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 11-12 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. I used a pie dish, lightly sprayed with nonstick spray.
  5. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes. Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise.
  6. After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. I covered the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning.
  7. Make the glaze: Right before serving, top your cinnamon rolls with glaze. Mix the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons coffee together until smooth and drizzle over rolls. If it seems too thick, add 1 more Tablespoon coffee. You can replace the coffee with milk or cream instead, if you do not want a coffee flavored glaze. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more confectioners' sugar and then add a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness, if desired.
  8. Rolls are best enjoyed the same day, but stay fresh and soft in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Glaze the rolls immediately before serving. Rolls (with or without glaze) freeze well, up to about 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat up however you prefer.

Make ahead/overnight: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise at room temperature, about 1 hour.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

For anyone still fearful of yeast, you can always make my 20 minute Mini Cinnamon Buns (no yeast) instead. However, today’s rolls are a great starting off point! Go ahead, challenge yourself.

More cinnamon rolls to love:

If you're new to working with yeast, these soft and fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls are a perfect place to start! Click through for the recipe.
If you're new to working with yeast, these soft and fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls are a perfect place to start! Click through for the recipe.

829 Comments

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  1. You had me at easy. Oh, and also at buttery, flaky, and soft. And sweet, and coffee glaze. And last but not least, cinnamon! I lost my self control when I was introduced to an oven so I think we’re all good there!! 🙂

  2. These look wonderful Sally, I love the fact that they only require one rise. Do you normally knead by hand? I think this is what worries me about enriched dough recipes, as I’ve heard they can be difficult to knead without using a mixer (I’m hoping a KitchenAid will be a perfect 30th birthday present! :-))

    1. I don’t alwasy knead by hand, but I strongly prefer it. It’s much more satisfying to knead it myself and then taste it – knowing I did it all by hand!

  3. These look so good! I love that they have only one rise. I have made cinnamon rolls before that have two rises, and they still haven’t looked as light and fluffy as yours! Maybe I will try them out for Mother’s Day.

  4. What a great testament to your baking/blogging/photography prowess that a company will actually compensate you for using their product! You are well on your way, Sally, and it’s entirely deserved! 😀 I can’t believe how beautiful these look…so doughy and delicious. I’m totally with you and your cinnamon fixation :). I actually just made your chocolate-chip muffins, but I used a mix of chocolate chips and cinnamon chips, and my coworkers just loved them! I got recipe requests. Your fame spreads… 😉

    1. Thanks Caley! I’m happy to be working with Red Star. Your cinnamon/chocolate chip muffins sound SO good. I need to get my hands on some cinnamon chips ASAP.

  5. Oh Sally, these look absolutely decadent! I love cinnamon rolls. I have a go-to recipe but it takes wayyy too much time to make. I’m thinking this might be what I have been looking for all my life!

  6. I’ll have to give these a try…though I swore off yeast after my last attempt.
    I’ve so far tried to do both the raspberry swirl and the orange sweet rolls, but both failed miserably. 🙁
    I think i’m doing something wrong with the yeast. My dough doesn’t double in size in the bowl like it’s supposed to. It doesn’t change at all.

    1. Lisa, do you use Red Star Platinum yeast? It’s available in the baking aisle with the other yeast. It is fail-proof.

      1. The first time I just used a cheap generic, but yes, the second time I tried I actually bought the Red Star since I’ve seen you talk about it so much. My dough didn’t change at all in the bowl. Perhaps I just picked up a bad package or something.

  7. Easier than your other sweet rolls?! That’s dangerous for me. I love me some cinnamon rolls. I love that it makes a relatively small batch and they look so soft and fluffy! I never would have thought of a coffee glaze. Now I have to decide which to try first, these, or the caramel apple!

  8. Hello!
    I was wondering if it is possible to make these ahead of time? I just never seem to make the time in the morning so if I could make them the night before, refrigerate then bake in the morning that’d be ideal? Thank you!

      1. So…you can’t hold the raw dough overnight in the fridge? And then bake in the morning? That is what I think the original question was.

      2. As noted in the recipe– Overnight: The dough may be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and let rise, about 1 hour.

  9. I just made homemade cinnamon rolls today, too. They are the ultimate #1 comfort food in my book! I wish I would have thought of a coffee glaze!

  10. I just might have to cheat on my favorite cinnamon roll recipe to try these. Funny, I was gong to make some this weekend! I loved your tip about placing them in the 200 degree oven … Smart! Your pic letting us peek inside the roll was cruel! For some reason, cakes, pies, etc.don’t pose the self control problem cinnamon rolls do – I cannot stop eating them. Just can’t. And I am very happy doing it!

  11. I’ve been waiting for this recipe ever since you posted photos of these beauties on Instagram, Sally! A cinnamon that requires only one rising time is amazing and I love the idea of a coffee glaze 🙂 My husband doesn’t really like cinnamon rolls (I KNOW…) so I’m going to save this recipe for a girls’ brunch or eat the entire pan myself… I think I could handle that!

  12. Aw yum!! Sally, you’ve done it again… these rolls look so soft, moist, flavourful and delicious! I love cinnamon rolls. The first time I tried them was on a holiday to Hawaii when I was sixteen… I saw this ‘Cinnabon’ stall and had to try them! I was hooked. I ate so many in one week 😉 The phenomenon still hasn’t hit Australia. We have ‘cinnamon scrolls’ which are like bread-ish scrools made with normal sweet bread dough. Nothing like your version. Yum! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to bake these!!! x

    1. I love Cinnabon!! And these are just like them. You have to try them! And if you do, let me know how you like them.

  13. I almost never make recipes that call for rolling out dough because I’m horrible at it. I need a lesson. These look so good I may attempt it!

    1. It’s not too tough with a rolling pin, Kim. Just roll it into a rectangle, it takes a couple minutes to get it right.

  14. Sally, I’ve tried your other yeast dough recipes….all delish…so, now I ask you…do you have a favorite?

    1. It would be hard to choose. 🙂 I love the raspberry and orange rolls so much. But these are just a classic, wonderful recipe to enjoy as well.

  15. Holy yum!! Sally you have done it again!! My little siblings would go CRAZY for these! They love the pillsbury ones and these look way better!! YUM!
    I love working with Red Star Yeast, I think it is one of the best!

  16. Ok the fact that we both posted Red Star and bread recipes today…and I made another yeast recipe that’s going out next week: sweet rolls baked in the EXACT pie plate you used. And I used 2.5 c flour and the same amt of sugar, 1 egg, and pretty much yep, we were on the same wavelength. I was devouring the sweet rolls over the weekend while you were devouring yours. Girl. Crazy!!!! Oh and it’s an adaptation of the F&W raspberry rolls. Very loosely adapted though.

    They are beautiful, Sally. The photos are stunning, your prettiest roll pics ever. That new camera is a stunner! And one rise. Truly genius. Pinned. And these are going to be a hot ticket! I know it!

  17. Ohhh my… I am a cinnamon roll ADDICT and these look amazing! I usually leave the icing off of mine to maximize the cinnamon goodness (it’s my favorite spice, after all!), and then I feel justified in eating three. Or four. All in one sitting.

    I know I have a problem, but… I’m not willing to fix it yet. 😉

    1. Hi Gina – these are super soft. As soft as any previous double rise rolls I’ve made. Keep in mind that you must use Platinum Red Star yeast for the quick rise time.

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